I found myself thinking about the friends in my life and one thing came to mind. If choosing friends was left to me, I’d choose wrongly due to my shortsightedness.
It is really important to allow God lead us so our emotions don’t get in the way of building and understanding how friendships work.
I realized the closer we get to God, we lose some friends and gain some in the process.
For someone like me that has had mishaps when it comes to friendships, I’m in a season where I’ve had to to wait before calling people friends.
This is because you’d connect with certain people and believe the fact that you click and resonate on so many levels translates to friendship.
While having similarities is a good foundation for building friendships, it isn’t all there is.
Being spiritually driven in everything pertaining to our lives as Christians is essential. When we don’t, we get emotionally entangled the way we ought not to.
So here’s a guide to help us in this process of making friends and building great relationships over time
Understand the difference between being an acquaintance and a friend
And don’t force friendships!
According to the Dictionary, an acquaintance is someone you know slightly but isn’t a close friend. You may have met at an event, were colleagues in school or became virtual friends online but you don’t exchange personal details, neither are you close to the individual that they share their burdens with you.
I’m not talking about the private stuff people share online (because these days a lot of people do).
I’m talking about that part of them that no one knows.
We need to understand our place in people’s lives and conduct ourselves with wisdom so we are not offended.
I assumed a lot in this area and had to let some friendships go after realizing it was the best thing to do.
It’s easy to confuse friends with acquaintances and then get offended when these same ‘friends’ don’t see us that way.
Be open to making friends with God’s wisdom
Friendship is a beautiful thing. We have friends because life could be lonely without them. And as Christians, the purpose of forming friendships is greater.
We need to build relationships that help us run our spiritual race effectively.
We need that friend that can be blunt with us when it comes to the things of God and can also cheer us up and support us the way they ought to.
Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but kisses from an enemy are deceitful.proverbs 25:5-6
We need someone who doesn’t misunderstand God’s dealings in your life the way Job’s friends did.
We also need to be that friend too.
And so what if we never have such friends who surround us with God’s love and wisdom?
Pray that you be that friend, and pray that God sends godly friends your way and strengthens you to choose wisely-Proverbs 12:26
Also, look around you. God might have planted some people around to help you and love you. Perhaps you’re ignoring them because they’re not your ‘type’
God doesn’t ALWAYS give us our type. He gives us who/what we need and what can help us.
Remember, not all that glitters is Gold. I have had friends from unexpected places who have been there for me in the good and bad times.
Stop looking for someone to fit the ‘best-friend’ label
I tried to have a best friend. It failed. If you’ve read my insecurity story, you’ll know how much I battled with not being good enough.
I once had a best friend in Elementary school but that was it.
We see differently now so it’d be lame for me to keep calling her my best friend.
I had to grow into God’s validation of me and be open with those God placed around me.
Maybe I’m an anomaly, but when people celebrate best friends or their clique on social media, there’s no one person that fits that label for me.
Because I have some good friends around me that I love and I don’t have to celebrate them on social media before they know they’re loved.
Besides, I’m growing to cherish my privacy in a world that says otherwise.
God also guides me on how to share with each one and love them accordingly.
We learn everyday and it’s alright if we miss it and try again. Nothing is wrong with you if you don’t have a best-friend or clique you gush over or smother with praises on social media.
Even the best friendships have their good and bad days.
Friendship is a two-way street and takes effort from both parties
As a homebody that’s gradually coming out of her shell through the help of the HolySpirit, making friends don’t come easily for me, but I’m willing to make an effort. Is someone making efforts to be your friend but you keep butting them in the background?
Give them a chance.
Friendship takes time. It is also a two way street.
I am aware the people capable of hurting us are those we call Friends. And this will happen a lot.
You are going to get hurt or misunderstood a couple of times but you have a choice to respond negatively or take it in good faith.
Do you show love and give excuses for the person, or you just look for the next best thing?
I once tried to explain to a friend about not coming through and I was really surprised by his response.
“You don’t need to explain anything because we are friends.”
His level of trust in me took me by surprise. I was amazed by the way he chose to give excuses for me.
I’m learning to give excuses for my friends too when they don’t show up the way I thought they would.
Human beings are complex and the earlier we realize this, the better.
Some people don’t even understand what’s going on in their soul, so don’t blame them if they can’t articulate it to you.
Don’t grow bitter or offended because they didn’t call you, text you or remember you in your time of need.
People are going through things and your friend may have hurt you without knowing.
I’m sure we’ve hurt people in the past as well. So are we going to give excuses for their shortcomings or hold them to ransom?
Seasons change. People too
I know it’s hard to let go. There are seasons you’ll step into and not everyone can step into that season with you.
But you have to be discerning enough and know when to let go and when to stick around.
I know it’s not easy. I’ve missed it a couple of times. The beauty of growth and seasons is how we are able to let go of certain people and what they meant to us in the past
I’m not too good with letting go easily. Even with years apart, there’s just always a place in my heart for old friends. I’d always wonder what could have been before concluding it’s for the best we go our separate ways.
Besides, I hate forcing myself on people. And I know how to read between the lines before it becomes embarrassingly obvious that my friendship tenure is over.
I’m learning that the goal of friendship should be focused on the Eternal.
I am learning to respect and love everyone, with the hope that they become more like Jesus as they encounter me.
If they leave, fine. If they stay, that’s fine as well.
But let them not leave empty handed. Let our friendship, however long or short it was leave an imprint of Christ in their soul.
If people want to keep remembering how you hurt them, then it’s their problem not yours.
If someone chooses to hold grudges without letting you know how much you hurt them, you can only pray that God heals their souls and helps them move on without traces of darkness in their hearts.
But don’t forget. Owe no man nothing but Love and live at peace with all men.
I hope to write more on Building relationships and how to sustain them.
Until next time.
Bloom with Love. Xx